Chocolate & Wellness with our Head Chocolatier, Ricarte Mariz – Prestat Chocolates

Chocolate & Wellness with our Head Chocolatier, Ricarte Mariz

January is a funny old time of year. It’s cold and dark, but it's also full of promise. It’s a New Year, and we should take this moment to focus on Wellness. Begin as you mean to go on, etc. etc. In today’s blog post, our Head Chocolatier, Ricarte Mariz, is going to talk about all things chocolate and wellness. 

Is Chocolate Good For You?

Many a trusted source claims that, eaten in moderation, a little chocolate can accompany a healthy diet. What’s more, chocolate with a higher cocoa percentage (55% and up) has some scrummy nutritional benefits. Dark chocolate is the healthiest of them all. While it’s riddled with calories, it’s also packed with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and flavonoids. Including: Magnesium, Zinc, Iron, Phosphorus and Copper. So two squares a day could keep the doctor away, as they say. Health professionals claim that dark chocolate (eaten in the right quantities, and with a higher cocoa percentage - think 70% or higher), can reduce inflammation, improve cognitive function, boost your immune system and keep the ticker ticking. 

Chocolate & Self-Care

When it comes to self care, moderation is key. You can pair off a cup of chamomile with a couple of Chocolate Thins or lighten up your afternoon with a couple of squares of our Dark Chocolate Bar laced with Pink Himalayan Sea Salt. The key is to treat yourself and eat, mindfully. Turn it into a sensory experience to calm and relax that nervous system.

In fact, chocolate should be in your self-care routine. Dark chocolate in particular contains, and can help boost, serotonin. So dark chocolate makes quite the tasty little mood booster. 

What Healthy Ingredients Are Used In Prestat Chocolates?

Here at Prestat, we believe in using the highest quality ingredients to create a joyful and sensory experience with every chocolaty bite. From the single origin couverture we use to craft our delectable treats to the flavourful infusions we create with fine essential oils. Some of our more exquisite ingredients include: Neroli, Bergamot Blossom and Saffron. Read on and let your appetites be wowed by these fragrant delights and their restorative properties.

**A Word Of Caution** - We are not claiming that our Chocolates are a cure all for ailments. This section is taking a deeper look into the practical applications of some of our most sensory ingredients. 

What Is Neroli?

This potent elixir is an essential oil extracted from the flowers of the bitter orange tree, typically grown in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. It is one of the most expensive ingredients in the world, as it can take up to 1000 kg of flowers to produce just 1 kg of essential oil. It carries a sweet, honey scent and is predominantly used in creating perfume. When used in chocolate, it creates a taste sensation. 

What Does Neroli Taste Like?

Neroli must be infused delicately and in moderation. It possesses an incredibly strong and unique flavour, and our chocolatiers work with its tasting power carefully to enhance the flavour of our chocolate. Alone, Neroli tends to carry fruity, floral and lavender tasting notes. When working with chocolate, we prefer using milk chocolate. Its natural sweet, nutty and creamy character pairs perfectly with Neroli and creates a sensory experience like no other. Our Blood Orange & Neroli Chocolate Thins are a delicious example of this. 

Is Neroli Good For You?

Some Health Sources suggest that even inhaling the scent of Neroli Oil can be good for you as it has the power to relax. What’s more, it can ease PMS and boost serotonin. 

What Is Bergamot Blossom?

Bergamot is a bitter, inedible, citrus fruit, however its peel and its blossoms can be distilled into an essential oil used in perfumery and baking. Its scent is a heady experience, with fruity, floral and sharp notes. 

What Does Bergamot Blossom Taste Like?

Again, Bergamot Blossom is a potent ingredient and must be infused carefully. Upon taste, it brings a fresh and spicy, musk and citrus laden palate. When working with chocolate, we prefer to combine this flavour with milk chocolate, to allow those flavours to really sing. Our Earl Grey & Bergamot Blossom Thins are a delicious example of this. 

Is Bergamot Blossom Good For You?

In essential oil form, Health Sources suggest that this oil has the power to relax, regulate mood and lift spirits. When consuming this ingredient in a treat like chocolate, take a moment to enjoy the sensory experience as that Bergamot Blossom scent emerges following that all-important unboxing. 

What Is Saffron?

Originating from the flower ‘Crocus Savitus’, Saffron is a thread-like spice recognisable for its beautiful crimson colour. It is one of the most expensive spices in the world, and carries a leathery, hay-like scent.

What Does Saffron Taste Like?

Don’t let the scent fool you. When used in food, saffron takes on a very different palate. It becomes sweet, floral, earthy and a little bitter. This wonderful complexity makes it a very interesting ingredient to work with. We’ve paired it into our Saffron & Ginger Fudge. The sweetness of the fudge and the gentle warming spice of the ginger complement the saffron beautifully, giving you a unique taste sensation. This chocolate is a rarity in our collection, and features only in our Jewel Box & Anniversary Collections

Is Saffron Good For You?

Alone, saffron is a potent antioxidant that can, according to Health Sources, improve mood and ease PMS. 

The Power Of Dark Chocolate

Is Dark Chocolate Good For You?

Like we said earlier, eaten in moderation, a little dark chocolate can be good for you. The higher the cocoa content, the more nutritious it is. Though, any dark chocolate above 85% is a little too intense (even for our liking). 

Why Is Sustainable Sourcing Good For Chocolate & Wellness? 

Sourcing plays an important role in Chocolate & Wellness. From farming to production, high quality couverture guarantees a chocolate rich in flavour and a health-packed profile. Our dark chocolate is made using Single Origin Côte d’Ivoire Aromatic Cacao sustainably sourced by our sister company, Domori. Guaranteeing a chocolate that’s rich in flavour, minerals, antioxidants and quality. If you’d like to learn more about our sustainability mission, click here

Where Does Chocolate Come From?

Our Cocoa is farmed alongside orange, mango, coffee and cardamom to create a unique cocoa with a fine aroma, and guarantee biodiversity. The cocoa beans are then fermented naturally for 6 days, wrapped in banana leaves. The cocoa beans are then crushed to nibs and refined into a cocoa liqueur, to preserve the fine aroma. The cocoa liqueur is then gently combined with cane sugar to craft the sustainable couverture used to make Prestat Chocolates. Leaving you with a lavish of dark chocolates rich in antioxidants, flavour and sustainable credentials to boot. Learn more about our cocoa, here

Shopping Wellness With Prestat Chocolates

If you’re keen to shop our dark chocolate range, may we direct your hungry eyes to: our Single Origin Chocolate Thins, Our Midnight Flakes Hot Chocolate & Our Pink Everest Chocolate Bar, English Peppermint Chocolate Bar and our Raspberry Reverie Chocolate Bar. Each is made with our Single Origin Couverture, and carries a cocoa percentage of 65% making it an excellent healthier alternative this January.